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About a year ago we decided we wanted to eat more healthily and cook more. Steaming seemed to be a bit of a buzz word for creating amazing healthy food so we decided to invest in a steamer.
At the time we lived in a small 1 bedroom flat so after shopping around, in previously unknown territory, we decided to buy the Tefal Ultra Compact steamer.
Initially I was a bit reluctant to use it, a saucepan or two takes no time at all to wash up and I did find dismantling the tiers a bit annoying (this is very lazy of me as it is incredible easy to do and probably only adds a couple of minutes to washing up time). The taste of the steamed food and especially vegetables is worth it. Goodbye soggy overcooked vegetables and green mushy broccoli water!
The steamer has three tiers with removable bases for easy cleaning and is dishwasher safe. The separate tiers are great if you are cooking more than one type of veg or meat or fish. My husband is a fan of steaming eggs; there are little indentations for them to sit neatly in at any level of the base. You can also steam larger items by removing a base in-between two tiers.
The inter-stackable tiers make it compact to store over the base. So although it stores small it's large enough to steam meals for two or a whole family without taking up lots of cupboard or worktop space. The word 'compact' does refer to the steamers height rather than base when stored, I keep ours in a cupboard which I couldn't do if the tiers didn't inter-stack.
The steamer has a chrome base, translucent water tank and tiers and a 60minute timer. The instructions also give you a list of food that you might want to steam with an estimated time, this is really useful.
The main benefit of the steamer I have found is that I can prepare the vegetables, (the main thing I steam) in advance to any meal. When I'm ready I just whack on the timer and forget about it. The food stays warm for quite a while after the buzzer goes off without the veg going soggy which is great.
Tefal 3 Tier Ultra Compact Steamer
Eating healthier and easier sounds perfect to me but I never really thought about a steamer until I got one for my birthday. All my family and friends know that I hate cooking and thought this was a perfect solution for me to finally cook 'normal' meals. Normally when I have people over they get like pizza or Chinese but they thought it was about time that I started to cook potatoes, vegetables and meat! Even one friend said cheeky that I wouldn't hurt me to start eating better.... that person is no longer a friend...
The Tefal 3 Tier Ultra Compact Steamer is actually quiet big due it three levels of baskets where you can cook your potatoes, vegetables and meat. The name of this steamer says ultra compact and stands for that the device is easy to store. The baskets all fit in one so that means you only have one basket that goes over the base of the steamer, which does makes it very compact and easy to store.
With the Three 3 litre baskets it does give you possibility to cook an entire meal in one go. So you don't have to cook your meat separate from your potatoes and vegetables. Although some people still like cook their potatoes separate like my father who also has a steamer. He normally find the potatoes undercooked, although I don't really have that problem. You can literally almost steam everything like fish, poultry, vegetables, fruit, rice and eggs.
The steamer is easily to work with and the baskets are big enough to more then enough food in for 4 people. It takes around one hour to cook the potatoes and vegetables which is fine for me because you simply turn it on and before you know it will be finished. It got a timer so no need to worry that you will be too late. After the cooking you can put all the baskets into the dishwasher which makes it even easier.
So these days I really don't mind to cook a healthy meal anymore because it still means I can watch television or others things when somebody else is cooking for me! I first thought that the food would taste less nice and especially the meat would be very dry. I do have to agree and I still prefer the meat to cook in the old fashion way but the meat is still tasty when you steam it, just a little bit less. I saw that you can get the steamer for around 35 pounds which sounds like a bargain for me.
I have had this steamer for about 6 months now and can honestly say that it is one of the most used items in my kitchen.
It is made by Tefal and is a chrome based steamer with 3 tiers. The tiers are made from plastic and are transparent which is really useful as you can see how much longer the food needs if you haven't set the timer.
The baskets stack on top of each other in numerical order, you don't have to use all 3 baskets if you don't want to, it just depends on how much food needs cooking. The baskets have removable bases so if you want to cook larger items like joints then you can. The baskets stack easily and when you want to put it away they store upside down so they take up less room.
The steamer is an oval shape and the base is partially transparent so you can see the water levels. The water is held in the base at the bottom and if the water needs refilling then there is a handy little drawer for pouring it into without disturbing the baskets. The steamer will hold up to 9 litres of water.
The steamer has a dial on the bottom if you want to use the timer. The maximum for the timer is 60 minutes and anything that needs longer than that will need the timer resetting. The steamer comes with a booklet which gives guides on times for certain foods.
The steamer comes with egg holders which is great as I can never get soft boiled eggs when cooking them in a pan, with the steamer I can just pop them in and get on the washing up whilst they cook. There is also a rice bowl and a removable stock tray.
It is dishwasher safe and is easy to take apart.
I love this steamer, it is handy when cooking for a large family as you only need one hob. It also means there aren't lots of pots and pans to wash! The food comes out of the steamer cooked just right. I followed the timer guides in the booklet and my veg comes out nice and crisp and the meat comes out lovely and tender. Having a timer is ideal because you don't have to keep checking it to see if it is done, you just wait for the timer to go off.
I would recommend this steamer to anyone. I didn't pay much for mine, it was about £35 which is quite good.
The only problem I found was that the lid of the steamer can get very hot. I always use a tea towel to lift it off.
We got given this tefal steamer as a present at christmas, and it is one of the best presents I got! We have used it near enough every single day since, and now I don't cook a lot of my food on the hob or microwave anymore, it tastes so much better out of this steamer!
As this was a present I'm not sure how much they actually paid for it, but I have seen it in Argos for around £40, which is very reasonable for this excellent steamer. I would happily pay this price for another one.
I had never used a steamer before so didn't know what to expect or have anything to compare it with. I was surprised at how easy this was to set up and use. You simply just pour the water in the tank at the bottom, put your food in the plastic baskets, and stack them up on top of each other.
You can put your meat or fish, vegetable and rice or potatoes all in together, in separate trays as there is plenty of space for all your food, and it is such a compact way to cook! No pans to stir or keep checking on! No need to have the oven on, just put everything in the steamer and I just leave it in the corner until it pings when its ready!
There is a dial on the front, which you just set the time to what you want. Potatoes take around 40 minutes, vegetables about 15, and meat around 30 minutes. The longest you can set is 60 minutes.
This steamer has a water capacity of 9 litres, but be careful the water doesn't run out, I find I have to top it up if its on any longer than 40 minutes as the water has all run out. It doesn't take long to heat up and start steaming, about 5 minutes.
The steamer comes in black and looks exactly like the picture above and the trays are plastic which you put your food in, and they stack on top of each other easily. They are not all the same size though, they are numbered 1, 2 and 3. They have to be stacked on top of each other in order to fit.
It automatically turns it self off once it has been on for the set amount of time. A great thing about using a steamer is you don't have to watch it at all, you can go up for a bath and come down and you wont have to worry about burnt food or anything! I have left my food in for about 50 minutes to an hour before, and the food never becomes over done, and the meat never dries out. It cooks potatoes best, they are so much nicer than out the oven, hob or microwave!
This steamer is also very easy to clean and easy to put away too. The plastic trays can go in the dishwasher. It also comes with a book which gives you a guide on the times each food will need to go in the steamer incase your not sure.
I highly recommend this steamer, it cooks food perfectly, folds away nicely, is easy to clean and makes cooking so much tidier and easier!